Friday, 26 June 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

I have woken up to the confirmed news that the King of Pop is dead. I spotted a Facebook status update just before bed that read 'RIP Michael Jackson music genius' and quickly clicked on a newspaper website on my toolbar. I felt a couple of seconds of tense hope, the same as when I had heard Heath Ledger and Steve Irwin had died but had not yet read about it. Alas, it had yet to be confirmed, but it wasn't looking good and now it's no good at all. There's something shoddy and disconcerting about hearing of someone's death over the Internet, even compared to say radio or TV news or in the newspaper, as was the case, for me, with the deaths of Freddie Mercury, Princess Diana, Kurt Cobain and Michael Hutchence. I don't like it.

I feel sad for Jacko's family and loved ones - death is banal - and a little regretful that he didn't have his massive come-back. That said, I have to say that I did lose the thread with him somewhat. He was such a huge part of my childhood lounge room dance competitions and adolescent parties and conversations, but as an 'adult', coinciding with his increasingly evident mental and physical sickness, I have felt more vague frustration, confusion and pity towards him, than any active loyalty. Kate found this more recent video, which reminded me once more of MJ's awesome talent and brilliance. I am sure I will get the tunes out this weekend and feel more and more grateful towards him. It's hard for me to feel that while reading online articles. Maybe that's just me.

Anyway (mind quickly moves to other things), it's raining outside. I have to finish off some work today (I am nearly there!), before a weekend of squishing thesis work around a College ball, garden party and pancake breakfast. Obnoxious. Most Oxford students I know get far more work done out of term time than in. Term officially ended last week, but there's always frivolity week after term ends (and another the week before it resumes). Not my fault. Oxford traditions. I hope you have a lovely weekend, including some time to bust out an MJ classic.


I'd rather be playing frisbee said...

Two thoughts:
1. It is an amazing thing to experience all the world focused on one moment, one man. Is it because the facts are so easily digestible, so there is no risk of a cock-up in conversation? Most of us are not fully down with the situation in Iran or Sudan, but we’ve got good anecdotes about dancing to Jacko in hypercolour.

2. I too was one click from the real news via faceplant news. I find it pretty worrying that I probably spend more internet pfaff time on the latter, and that the rather similar bunch of people I’ve met are guiding my thoughts. One of the appeals is that you can share reactions to events with folks you know, rather than 400 crazies in a comment stream online. But there is incredible power at our fingertips. I wonder how long it is going to be a forum for carefully selected banter and whether one of its spawn will become a true action-station for progress on point 1?

Anyway, have a blast at the ball et al!

Good Enough Woman said...

Adolescent lounge room dance competitions--

TOTALLY! Moon walk. The little can-can kick from Beat It. Janet Jackson's moves were big a couple of years after Thriller.


But I have to say, MJ is just so disturbing to me now. Anybody care to do a dissertation on the implications of his body of work and the work of his body?

Academic, Hopeful said...

This could start you off GEW:

Jacksonian America by Stephen Metcalf